A WORCESTER man has been ordered to pay fines and costs of more than £1,400 for obstructing an investigation into a fly-tipping incident in Wichenford.
Ricky Gorman, 25 and of Tudor Way, pleaded guilty at Worcester Magistrates’ Court to failing to comply with a request for information by Malvern Hills District Council under section 108 of the Environment Act 1995.
During the hearing on October 5, the court heard how the authority had received a report of a fly-tip at a farm gateway near to Cobblers Corner, Wichenford.
Upon investigation officers found a fridge freezer, an old bed base, sofa and other furniture as well as bagged household waste and some children’s toys.
The investigation led to a property in Drakes Avenue, Dines Green.
The resident confirmed she had asked Gorman to take some waste away for her on the same day as the fly-tip.
She also confirmed she had checked he had a valid waste carrier’s licence and her rubbish would be disposed of correctly.
In August this year officers then requested waste transfer notes from Gorman to enable them to continue to track what happened to the waste after he had received it.
Gorman was given until September 4 but failed to respond leading to the prosecution.
In mitigation Gorman acknowledged he had received the letter but had not read it as he was struggling with debt and ignored official looking letters.
Magistrates gave Gorman credit for his early guilty plea but warned him ‘sticking his head in the sand’ was not an excuse and his failure to respond had prevented the council from continuing their investigation into a very serious offence.
He was fined £300, ordered to pay costs of £1,110.80 and a victim surcharge of £30.
Coun Bronwen Behan, responsible for environment on Malvern Hills District Council, said: “The fact we weren’t able to continue to investigate this offence is very frustrating and I am pleased with the sentence imposed.
“Fly-tipping is a blight on our communities and damages our environment.
“We need the support of the public to both report and help us investigate these offences so we can take action against offenders and send a clear message fly-tipping will not be tolerated in our beautiful district.”
Visit www.malvernhills.gov.uk/report-it to report fly-tipping.